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Posts Tagged with “Montreal”

Tofu Stravinsky: Decades and Dépaysement

Hello from Montreal. My name is Tyler and today I’m thirty years old. I have come to realize a lot happens to a person in this amount of time. They can watch their sucky hockey team get good and then suck again. They can work odd jobs; they can move around; and if they’re lucky, they can learn about love, music, art, and what not to say at a Jewish funeral.

The first 14 years of my life are a blur. I mostly experimented with matches, played street hockey, and raced hot wheels cars with my younger brother, Ben. But at the age of 14, I strapped a guitar to my hip, put my head down, and started to play music. 16 years later my telecaster is still with me and it has steered me and my life a lot like a compass would. I’m gonna tell you now the story of all the people I’ve met and floors I’ve slept on in the last decade leading up to the formation of Tofu Stravinsky.

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Be Inspired by this

Land of Talk is 3 piece Canadian indi rock band who hail from Montreal, and like many bands in their genre, they pack an explosive yet eerie sound that makes you want to thrash your body around and flail your arms and legs like they had a mind all their own.  Where Land of Talk rises above the ever growing crowd of indi hipsters is most evident in their few, but stifling slow jams; such as this song, “It’s Okay”.  The first time I saw this video was late in 2009 – about 3 days after it had initially been released.  It was not only my first introduction to this song, but also to the band behind the song.  It was love at first sight.  The swooning melody and lazy beat blend perfectly with the beautify composed visual interpretation created by Vancouver based video producers WeWereMonkeys – a noteworthy production company who work mostly in animation and digital artistry.

“It’s Okay” was created using a combination of live action and digital matte panting, with aspects of 3D compositing and super-slow motion. The execution of which results in one of the most beautiful music videos I have ever seen. While the techniques behind the video are extremely interesting in themselves, not to mention ambitious, the full extent of the video could not be realized without WeWereMonkeys strong creative vision for the piece. From their website, they explain some of the process:

“We started by listening to the song over and over on repeat. When we make music videos, our goal is to create a visual work that glues seamlessly to the music. We strive to create a unified work of art. This doesn’t usually mean literally translating the lyrics into visuals, but more like using the mood, or overall feel that we get from the music as our inspiration.”

For this video they went back thousands of years to the time of Amazonian tribes – a nation composed strictly of all female warriors in classical and greek mythology. From the website;

“The idea of the Antiope came from our amazing producer Marcella Moser. Together, the three of us built a story of the last Amazon Queen riding her horse to her doom. We saw her riding through abstract, lonely landscapes, and finally launching from a cliff to disintegrate into nothingness. “

These strong feminine ideals carry over laterally to Land of Talks’ single “Summer Special” from their 2006 EP “Applause Cheer Boo Hiss.” The song deals with the damaging nature of intra-female conflict and the sadness of losing oneself by way of buying in to the mainstream stereotypes of femininity. Songwriter Elizabeth Powell commented in an interview about what inspired her to write “Summer Special” and how it compared to the media’s portrayal of woman and her life growing up as a tom-boy. From QRO Magazine:

“When I was running around when I was seven years old in track pants and my brother’s old baseball shirt, that’s also, like aesthetically, how I see myself in pictures, like how I see myself in reflections in the mirror. You identify more, more of a free, fun thing. I know how I get, if I have to wear dresses for weddings, I go out to a special event, you get self-conscious. You don’t need that as a kid; you really don’t need to be worried about your tummy.”

This is one of those prime examples of where music and video meet art and soul and the outcome is breathtaking. Its no wonder that this music video ranked in Time Magazine’s Top 5 Best Music Videos of 2009.

For more on Land of Talk, check out their website HERE and if you’re interested in more indepth information on the production process used to make the video for “It’s Okay” check right HERE.